The Gulfstream G550 is the ultimate private Jet. Period. OK, so it's not the largest, not the fastest, and probably not the most luxurious. But while it can't claim to be on top in any of those categories, it's not lacking in any one of them either. In fact, it sits close to the top of all of them for a Jet (don't dare call it a plane) that can get you to just about anywhere on the planet with the comfort, luxury, and the speed of an aircraft twice its list price.
Long Range Travel
One of the most appealing aspects of this aircraft is its range. 6,750 nautical miles (or 12,500 km) at long range cruising speed. That will get you LITERALLY half the way around the world without re-fueling. Paris to Tokyo - London to Singapore - Washington D.C. to Dubai...you get the idea. If there's one thing that's a pain, it is unnecessary stops, the Gulfstream G550 simply needs less.
While not the fastest Jet in the air (supersonic travel is so 1990's anyways) as far as luxury aircraft is concerned, the G550 doesn't disappoint. Powered by Rolls-Royce BR710 turbofan engines, it is capable of reaching up to Mach .885, a speed that will get you to your destination in due time. In fact, the G550 once went from Seoul South Korea to Orlando, Fla. (a distance of 7,301 miles) in 14.5 hours -- setting a new city-pair aviation record. Not impressed yet? The G550 went on to set 40 city-pair records within its first 5 years of flight.
Luxury & Size
The G550 is no Boeing 787. That being said, it's no Cessna either. Gulfstream has a variety of options for the 550, which includes 12 unique floor plans capable of seating up to 18 passengers. The floor plans include up to 4 distinct living areas and 3 temperature zones. While comfort is the main concern, the Jet can also act as a flying office with the optional broad band multi-link that serves the included fax machine, printer, wireless LAN, and and satellite communications system.
While you can certainly spend more on a private jet, you probably won't find the versatility of the G550 anywhere else. Combining adequate size & luxury to the speed and range not found elsewhere, it's no wonder the Gulfstream G550 won the Robert J Collier Trophy (the most prestigious aviation award available).
By Todd Riffkin